<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=480195407266024&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Alpha Software Blog



Best No Code IOS App Builders for 2023

Last Updated: November 2022

 

The no-code iOS app building industry is serving two audiences:

  1. Non-techies, wanting to create simple apps without hiring hard-core developers.
  2. Hard-core developers, wanting to create secure, scalable, and stable iOS apps for clients faster.

Because of that, every tool on the market is very, very different.

Here's our verdict.

 

Best Overall

Runner-Up

Best Budget

Editor's Choice

2nd Best Choice

3rd Best Choice

Alpha Software

Glide

Appy Pie

Alpha Software

Glide

Appy Pie

Best iOS Builder For Professional Business Apps

Best Spreadsheet-Driven iOS App Builder

iOS App Builder With The Best Customer Support

Ease of Use:

⭐⭐⭐ ⭐

Ease of Use:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ease of Use:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Design:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Design:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Design:

⭐⭐⭐

Features:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Features:

⭐⭐⭐

Features:

⭐⭐⭐

Value:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value:

⭐⭐⭐

Value:

⭐⭐

Visit Tool Site

Visit Tool Site

Visit Tool Site

 

Now let's walk through a mini-review for each.

P.S. Want to build robust iOS apps without having to worry about stability, security, or scalibility? Download Alpha Anywhere Community Edition and build unlimited number of iOS  (and Android and web) apps for free!

 

1. Alpha Software — Best for Professional Business Apps

 

Ease of Use

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Alpha Software

Design Freedom

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Features & Benefits

Alpha Software has two platforms.

First, the Alpha Anywhere: an app designed for both citizen and hard-core developers, to build professional web, Android, and iOS apps. Alpha Anywhere is one of the best builders for creating software that is stable, secure, and scalable right out of the box. It's the most feature-rich builder on the market, and can connect with and manage databases of any size and complexity.


Top Alpha Anywhere Features:

  • Advanced Offline Apps including the ability to access/look-up data, videos, documentation, images when offline
  • Advance Bi-Directional API
  • Source Control
  • Powerful Reporting and Analytics
  • Change Management
  • Highly Scalable, Reliable and Secure Cloud Deployment
  • Advanced Access Controls

 

Use Alpha Anywhere to quickly, flexibly, and reliably build production-quality business and commercial grade custom SaaS web and mobile apps

 

 

 

Second, Alpha TransForm: a no-code derivative of Alpha Anywhere focused around replacing complex paper forms with sophisticated offline-capable mobile and web apps in hours or even minutes

Designed for companies that want to create form-based apps in-house. With little technical knowledge needed. TransForm offers a whole suite of features and templates that remove the need for writing any line of code. It's the perfect solution for industries such as manufacturing, construction, HVAC, field service, health care, regulatory, logistics, energetics, legal, or education who want to digitalize their paper forms very rapidly with a sophisticated and secure form app. Real world examples where paper forms have been converted into Alpha TransForm apps.

 

Top Alpha TransForm Features:

  • Advanced Offline-Capabilities including offline data access (lookups) as well as offline data capture and intelligent image synchronization
  • Fully customizable through powerful scripting capabilities
  • Scan UPC/QR codes
  • Image editing and annotation plus unlimited images per form
  • Built-in enterprise security
  • Powerful bi-directional API
  • Built in dashboards/analytics and workflow
  • Text-to-Speech and audio recording
  • Perform complex calculations and conditional sections in app
  • Supports where multiple people need to fill in data and sign
  • Alert when data is outside parameters
  • Capture images, currency, time, date, weather, location

 

Perfect for increasing productivity, security, and quality of your Site Visits, Inspections for Safety, Maintenance and Quality Control, Medical data collections, Observations, and Surveys and more.

 

Alpha Transform Features

 

Any app you build—either with Alpha Anywhere or TransForm—can be hosted on the Alpha Cloud, which offers reliability, redundancy, security and stability at scale. Now you can focus on building the app, and not spend time troubleshooting the deployment.

 

Where Alpha Software Falls Short

Although you can build mobile and  applications with little to no coding with Alpha Anywhere, if you want your app to be highly customized and very sophisticated you'll have to know some JavaScript and XBasic (or Node.Js or Python etc.) In that regard, Alpha Anywhere is, in fact, a low-code iOS (and web) app builder.

Alpha TransFrom, on the other hand, is a true no-code iOS and Android builder but is focused and optimized on rapid form-based app building.

 

Pricing

Alpha Anywhere Community Edition is completely free to use.

You can develop an unlimited number of iOS apps without paying a penny, and have access to a dedicated customer success manager while doing so. When you're happy with the app and ready to deploy, you can opt-in to the professional plan starting at $99 per month.

Alpha TransForm has a 30-day free trial, during which all features are available for use. After the trial, it offers a straightforward pricing of $30 per user per month.

 

Bottom line

Alpha Anywhere may not be the easiest iOS (and Android and web) application builder, but it is the most robust. If you want to build top-quality apps and publish them on the App store—and not have to worry about stability, security, or scale—then Alpha Anywhere is the iOS app builder for you. Download Community Edition with this link and build an unlimited number of iOS apps for free!

On the other hand, if you have paper forms (both simple and highly complex,) and want to replace them with sophisticated offline-capable mobile apps that could include dashboards/analytics and workflow, then the fastest, easiest, and most powerful way to do so is with Alpha TransForm. Click here to start your TransForm trial today.

2. Glide — Best Spreadsheet-driven iOS App Builder

 

Ease of Use

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Glide

Design Freedom

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Features & Benefits

Glide puts a face on your Excel, Google Sheets, or Airtable data.

It's extremely useful for making your data available on Android or iOS devices for employees, contractors, or customers. Glide has built-in backend functions, with which you can manipulate your spreadsheet data, and covers 95% of the features most users will ever need. On top of that, default Glide designs and user experience is excellent, even if you have zero design skills.

 

Glide Features

 

Where Glide Falls Short

Glide's app performance drops significantly with large data sets (over 25,000 rows of data) and users (over 5,000 users). Besides that, Glide doesn't support standard databases. It also doesn't support offline use, which can be a dealbreaker if your employees need to use the app in-field without the internet.

 

Pricing

Glide's free plan is great for tinkering, but even the lightest of apps will need a Starter plan subscription at $25/month.

 

Free

Starter

Pro

Business

$0

$25/month

$99/month

$249/month

3 Apps

5 Apps

Unlimited apps

Unlimited projects

500 rows/app

5000 rows/app

25,000 rows/app

25,000 rows/app

100 public users

1,000 public users

5,000 public users

10,000 public users

Community

Community

Messaging support

Personalized onboarding

 

Bottom line

It's the easiest iOS app builder on the market. Excellent for building lightweight apps with Google sheets, excel, or Airtable as a database.

 

3. Appy Pie — iOS App Builder With The Best Customer Support

 

Ease of Use

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Appy Pie

Design Freedom

⭐⭐⭐

Features

⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money

⭐⭐

 

Features & Benefits

Appy Pie helps you build iOS apps with an intuitive drag-and-drop framework connected to HTML and CSS. Appy can be easily integrated with other software. And the finished app works lightning fast.

 

Appy Pie Features

 

Yet the most notable is its industry-leading customer service, available to you 24/7 all year round.

"They'll chat with you via chatbox or email, and even hop on calls to better understand your troubles", one user says. "Then they'll troubleshoot issues, answer product-related questions, and even assist in getting your app approved and published on Apple and Google Play stores".

 

Where Appy Pie Falls Short

The Appy Pie editor is somewhat ‘janky’: the screen and design elements take a while to load, and the editor sometimes doesn't save changes. Appy Pie also doesn't have strong customization options and is lacking many features that other iOS app builders do have. On top of that, most of their features are behind pay walls.

 

Pricing

At first glance Appy Pie looks affordable: with a starting price of $16 per app per month.

 

Basic

Gold

Platinum

$16/app/month

$36/app/month

$60/app/month

Android

Android

Android & iOS

No premium features

Premium features

Premium features

Email support

Email & Chat Support

Email, Chat, and Call Support

 

The bad news is that only the Platinum plan at $60 per app per month supports iOS apps.

On top of that, if you want to publish your iOS app without their branding, you'll have to buy their "Add-On" package which includes:

 

  • White-label app with no Appy Pie branding
  • Unlimited app resubmissions on App Store & Play Store
  • Dedicated account manager to help you through every step of the way.

 

The cost per iOS app bloats to $120 per month, making Appy Pie one of the most expensive mid-tier iOS app builders on the market.

 

Bottom line

Appy Pie is ideal for beginner developers and non-techies who have a budget to spare.

It's fairly easy to use and offers a stellar customer experience. But because it lacks powerful backend features and customization options, it's a bad choice for hard-core developers looking to create production-quality apps for their clients.

 

4. Adalo — Best for Rapidly Prototyping iOS Micro-apps

 

Ease of Use

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Adalo

Design Freedom

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Features

⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Features & Benefits

Adalo was made for speed.

Thanks to its pre-built components and intuitive way of connecting screens and workflows, Adalo is extremely fast and easy to use. Creating an app with Adalo is like putting together a slide deck. You can have an MVP ready in less than 48 hours and quickly validate market response before committing to anything serious.

 

Adalo Features

 

Where Adalo Falls Short

Adalo's feature set is limited compared to other iOS app builders.

On top of that, its performance suffers greatly at scale. It doesn't take many users before the app slows down to frustrating levels — it struggles to fetch data, images, and other information the users request. The experience keeps getting worse and worse with each new user.

 

Pricing

The starter plan at $45 per month is enough to get published on the App store.

 

Free

Starter

Professional

$0

$45 per month

$65 per month

Web only

iOS, Android, Web

iOS, Android, Web

0 published apps

1 published apps

2 published apps

Basic Logic and Custom Formulas

Font library

Geolocation,
Version History,
External Database Connection

 

But important features such as version history and connecting to external databases are locked behind the Professional plan at $65 per month.

 

Bottom line

Adalo is perfect for both developers and non-techies alike for:

 

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Getting market validation
  • Simple apps with < 100 users

 

But if you want to build useful, high-quality apps, Adalo is not for you.

5. Thunkable — Your Best First iOS App Builder

 

Ease of Use

⭐⭐⭐

Thunkable

Design Freedom

⭐⭐⭐

Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Features & Benefits

Thunkable is a robust, beginner-friendly, and feature-rich platform with seemingly infinite educational resources.

It has a lively community, a popular Youtube channel, sprawling documentation, and even an academy that'll help you get up and running in no time. Thunkable integrates with most native frameworks and has a clean editor perfect for anyone that wants to learn how to build iOS apps without being overwhelmed.

 

Thunkable Features

 

Where Thunkable Falls Short

Thukable is education-focused.

This philosophy seeped over to product design and made the iOS builder feel more like a visual coder than a no-code platform. Not an issue for those who are willing to learn. But their vast self-help library is oftentimes outdated, referring to features that don't exist anymore.

As for features, a lot of them have bugs. It seems like Thunkable is prioritizing adding new features over fixing existing problems.

 

Pricing

Overall, Thunkable is affordable.

 

Free

Starter

Pro

$0

$15/month

$45/month

10 Projects

20 projects

Unlimited projects

200 MB Storage

500 MB Storage

1 GB Storage

2 downloads/month

25 downloads/month

Unlimited downloads &
App Store + Play Store publishing

Community

Community

Messaging support

 

Free is fine for tinkering… Starter for prototyping apps and trying them out with the team… And Pro for pushing your iOS app on the store.
(Keep in mind that to have full control over how your app looks you'll have to get Thunkable's Business plan. To get the price, you'll first have to pitch your idea to their salesperson.)

 

Bottom line

Thunkable is the best first iOS app builder for beginner developers who truly want to learn how to code.

Advanced developers who want to build powerful iOS apps are better off with Alpha Anywhere, while the best choices for non-techies who want to rapidly prototype apps are either Glide or Adalo. 

 

Buyer's Guide

The no-code industry is young, and companies on the market are still figuring out who they want to serve.

 

  1. Non-techies who want to build app prototypes for market validation?
  2. Non-techies who want to build apps in-house without hiring developers?
  3. Developers who want to publish iOS apps on the Play Store for public use?
  4. Developers who want to create iOS apps for their clients at a rapid rate?
  5. Educators who want to teach students how to build apps in a simplified environment?

 

Because of that, we've identified three criteria to categorize the use-case for every app on the market.

 

Ease of Use: the most important criterion for non-techies who need to prototype an app fast. You can't afford a steep learning curve if you're on a tight deadline.

Design Freedom: having the ability to custom code your own UI/UX is crucial for developers who want to push their iOS apps on the App Store for mass use. Less important for developers and non-techies building apps for internal use, in which case powerful features are more important than beautiful design.

Features: crucial for developers who need to create lots of different apps for lots of different clients. Instead of switching, having one versatile and powerful tool drastically boosts productivity.

 

Are Low Scores Always Bad?

Not at all.

For example, a tool that has low design freedom might be a better choice for someone who doesn't have an eye for design. The default template will make your app look good, even though it might feel generic.

Similarly, having few features might mean that the existing features are of really high quality. That's the case with specialized builders, such as Alpha TransForm. It can only build form-based iOS apps - but it makes the best form-based apps on the planet.



What is a No Code iOS app builder?

No code iOS app builders are platforms for building iOS apps without writing a single line of code.

Originally made for designers, artists, creatives, and any other users that wanted to make software fast without needing to know how to code. iOS app builders reduce stress on your in-house IT team, save money, and speed up app development.

 

How do No Code iOS app builders work?

The developers of no-code iOS app builders made "code templates" with the most popular software functions. On top of it sits an interface through which the templates can be customized without tinkering with the code. The interfaces are usually drag-and-drop builders, block builders, and visual panels that can be connected like a PowerPoint presentation.

 

Can you truly make an iOS app without code?

Yes, you can make an iOS app without code.

Is the app going to have the exact functions you want? That's a different story.

If you're building a less-complex app—or a version of an existing app—no-code builders will help. But if you're building a wholly unique app then no-code will only take you so far. Most complex functions, calculations, integrations, and advanced designs will require you to write at least some code.

 

Can I build an iOS app for free?

Yes — although the advanced features and the App Store publishing are locked, every tool in this review has a trial plan with which you can build iOS apps for free.

 

Wrapping it up

Which no-code iOS app builder you choose for your next project does matter.

The good news is that all builders have a free trial for you to find your best fit risk-free.

But if you ask us, we recommend:

For developers creating stable, scalable, and secure apps: Alpha Anywhere.

For non-techies building form-based apps in-house: Alpha TransForm.

For simple iOS apps with spreadsheets as databases: Glide.

 

Igloo Improves Quality Control, Cuts Costs with Digital Transformation
4 Productivity Tools for Construction

About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

Related Posts
How to Know if Your Low-Code/No-Code Platform Isn’t Working for You
How to Know if Your Low-Code/No-Code Platform Isn’t Working for You
6 Advantages of Using a Low Code Application Platform (In 2023)
6 Advantages of Using a Low Code Application Platform (In 2023)
Go Paperless: Using Mobile Forms Can Fatten Your Bottom Line
Go Paperless: Using Mobile Forms Can Fatten Your Bottom Line

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

Comment